Jan. 17 isn’t typically a release date that instills a lot of confidence in a film, but I’m stubbornly optimistic that the Jack Ryan reboot with Chris Pine, which got bumped from a prime Christmas date by the delayed Wolf of Wall Street, delivers the thrills I remember from the best Tom Clancy novels and films. One thing that gives me hope: the bad guys seem to be actual Russians.
Apparently, director Kenneth Branagh didn’t get the memo that you can’t make movies with Chinese or Russian villains (since you might alienate a crucial segment of your international audience. See Red Dawn.) I suspect the late Tom Clancy wouldn’t have lent his name and characters to any movie that featured his favorite hero battling Latvian street-toughs or some other second-tier baddies. True to Clancy’s cold-war books, Pine’s Jack Ryan visits Russia, where he faces an oligarch (Branagh) plotting to crash the U.S. economy.
In this extended action-scene, Pine’s green analyst gets introduced to old-school Russian hospitality.